Resources For
Families and Children of Hoarders

San Francisco Bay Area Internet Guide for Extreme Hoarding Behavior
Clutterers Syndrome or Pack Rat Syndrome
Supported by Peninsula Community Services, Inc

How can I help a hoarding friend or family member de-clutter?

Attempts by family and friends to help with de-cluttering may not be well received by the person who hoards. 
 It is helpful to keep in mind:
        • Until the person is internally motivated to change they may not accept your offer to help.
        • Motivation cannot be imposed.
        • Everyone, including people who hoard, has a right to make choices about their objects and how they live.
        • People who hoard are often ambivalent about accepting help and discarding objects
                                                                           Mass Hoarding Resources

How to Talk to Someone with Hoarding: Do’s and Don’ts
The Do's and Don'ts page

The following web sites may be of interest:


Informative web site for families and children of hoarders

Harm Reduction for the Elderly- By John O'Brien    Central Coast Senior Services

"The goal is to work towards improving problematic behaviors while recognizing
they often can not be eliminated.

 It is a non-confrontational and non-judgmental approach.  Not every older person
can stop or wants to stop risky behaviors. The person may not be in a physical or
psychological position to understand or consider their behavior is causing a problem
and that change is possible. Harm Reduction accepts these realities."

How to Get Hoarders Into Treatment

by Dr Fugen Neziroglu, PHD & Katherine Donnelly M.A.

When a Loved One Hoards
by David Tolin
Author of Buried Treasures Oxford University Press
"Some general principals to guide conversations:
Show Empathy: Don't Argue; Respect Autonomy; Help the person recognize that his/her actions
are inconsistent with his/her greater goals or values."

The Way to Help a Family Member
by R.Frost,PhD
How Compulsive Hoarding Affects Family found on IOCDF - Web site:, Family Advisor, April 20, 2010
Mom's a hoarder whose "stuff" is keeping us apart! 
by Carol O'Dell

Helping Family Members Who Hoard 
New England Hoarding Consortium, Page 13 of Hoarding Newsletter, Spring 2009

Help for Hoarders:10 small steps

Clutter and Hoarding

Animal Hoarding and Families
Tips for families and friends
Intervention is possible but challenging, requiring tact and patience.
The Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium web site.

Groups On line

"Spouses of Hoarders"
Yahoo Group run by Sandra Felton of Messies Anonymous:

For friends and family
This group is for those who care about someone who is a hoarder. It is not a therapy group. Here we share information 
which may be useful in understanding those whose lives are impacted by hoarding. Perhaps some ideas for approaches will prove useful. 
This site is run by Sandra Felton organizer of Messies Anonymous


ABC News Videos, 20/20, August 05, 3011
Hoarder's Children Speak Out

Hoarders Daughter Keeps Shameful Secret

Surviving a Filthy Childhood: Jessie Sholl, Daughter of Hoarder, Comes Clean


Helping Your Loved One Manage Clutter, Hoarding & Compulsive Acquiring
by Tamara Hart PhD., Michael Tompkins, PhD.
New Harbinger Publications 2009
This book gives manageable steps for helping your loved one make gradual and lasting change. 

Buried in Treasurers- help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding
by David Tolin, Randy Frost, Gail Steketee.
Oxford University Press, 2007
Useful information to help friends and family understand.  
It includes strategies and techniques that anyone can use. 


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